The Canadian Christian Communications Association awards were handed out online on May 11 to Canadian magazines, newspapers and communications organizations that entered material published or posted online in 2021. Canadian Mennonite won six awards for writing, two for layout and design, and one each for online content and for general excellence for a magazine.
A.C. Forrest Memorial Award for excellence in religious journalism (under 10,000 circulation).
Jeremy Bergen, author (“Tending the cairn,” Oct. 25, page 4.)
Judge’s comments: “A practical approach to the issue of when, how and even if a church should issue a formal apology. Very helpful information!”
Marlene Epp, author (“Victim or perpetrator: What am I?” Nov. 12, page 12.)
Judge’s comments: “This is a courageous and eloquent examination of a difficult and complex subject based on personal experience and family history that applies specifically to the Mennonite church, but also applies generally to all denominations called to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct/abuse within its reach and embrace. . . . Although a deeply emotional matter, equal parts pain, sorrow, humiliation and frustration, the writer demonstrates extraordinary restraint and compassion in expressing her point of view logically and reasonably. I can think of no better window through which to begin an exploration of this overlooked, neglected or otherwise ignored topic, especially in the #MeToo era.”
Aaron Epp, author (“Defund the police” and “Four police views,” Sept. 27, pages 4-7.)
Judge’s comments: “Very current/topical. But given the times we live in, likely also evergreen. Well written and organized. Good selection of quotes, voices. . . . Overall, I think it was a good story and did what it was supposed to do: open the reader’s eyes to an important issue and likely changed their views on an important issue.”
Ross W. Muir, author (“Everyone wanted Mennonite girls,” Aug. 16, page 21.)
Judge’s comments: “The intriguing quote as a headline was a very choice call-in to (frankly) a rather boring topic—the installation of a plaque. The reporter did well to get the plaque story told before cutting to the human-interest element implied in the headline. Well done. . . . Putting the title quote into the last lines of the article was a good finishing touch.”
Front Cover (magazine, under 10,000 circulation)
Ross W. Muir, designer, and Elaine Binnema, photographer (“When the rains came down,” Dec. 6, front and back covers.)
Judge’s comments: “A very powerful, and ironically beautiful photo, given the destruction it implies, and a photo with a lot of emotional heft. The front/back cover arrangement is an excellent idea, and gives the image maximum space to do its work.”
Feature Layout and Design (magazine, under 10,000 circulation)
Betty Avery, designer, and Virginia A. Hostetler, editor (“Learning fluency step by step,” July 19, pages 4-7.)
Judge’s comments: Colourful and intelligent opener, well-set and solidly designed secondary pages. Callouts handled imaginatively.”
Betty Avery, designer, and Aaron Epp, editor (CM Now, Sept. 2, Sept. 30, Nov. 25.)
Judge’s comments: “You have strong, clear images that tell the story and engage the reader even before the article is started. The design is clear, easy to navigate. You get into the stories quickly and limit the scrolling necessary. . . . You have a good template and do not deviate. Would be interested to see what it could become with a bit of play or design energy.”
Virginia A. Hostetler, author (“The gifts of all,” March 15, page 2.)
Judge’s comments: “Well argued and timely piece about the importance of intentionality in creating diversity. Speaks to the audience about their history and a path forward.”
David Driedger, author (“Liberating and recovering Anabaptist theology,” Feb. 4, page 12).
Judge’s comments: “This article is a brilliantly written summary and evaluation of the books Recovering from the Anabaptist Vision . . . and Renewing Peace Theology through the Wisdom of Women. The compelling review provides a good introduction and helpful commentary, and made me want to read both these books.”
General Excellence (print magazine)
Tobi Thiessen, publisher; Virginia A. Hostetler, executive editor; Ross W. Muir, managing editor; Betty Avery, designer (March 15, Sept. 13, Dec. 6 issues).
Judge’s comments: Packed with diverse content, columns and features, all to serve, inform and challenge the identified audience. Design is clean, readable and easy to navigate. . . . This magazine has so much text that it relies on the motivation of the reader to pursue and engage. . . . Overall, an impressive editorial package, issue after issue.”
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